Sleep Fictions: A Digital Companion

I.9 Hudson

Rowland hopes to control and direct Roderick’s electric creativity, so that his patronage leaves an everlasting mark on the world. Cecilia and Rowland correlate Roderick’s flustered excitations with the stifling of his “genius,” which they refer to as a “flame.” Cecilia tells Rowland: “I don’t think he more than half suspects his talent. The flame is smouldering, . . . He’s hopelessly discontented, but he doesn’t know where to look for help." Rowland sees Roderick’s artistic turmoil as an opportunity. He aspires to teach him how to balance his nervous energy and master a self-control necessary for artistic production. As in the introduction to “The Vision of Don Roderick”*—

“Let but his verse befit a hero’s fame,
Immortal be the verse! Forgot the poet’s name!” 

Rowland hopes to appropriate Roderick’s artistic output for himself as an everlasting ode to his patronage.


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